Publishing and Media

Style Guide

Congratulations and thank you for publishing your book with Lantern. We understand how important the successful publication of your book is to everyone. The following instructions are intended to help you create properly formatted files that will be used by Lantern Publishing & Media for the production of your book. If you take the time to prepare your manuscript so that it’s professionally produced, you will stand a much greater chance of the manuscript being accepted and not sent back to you to for revision. With this in mind we ask that you please read and follow these guidelines.

File Format

  • Media: Files should be transmitted preferably as an e-mail attachment or by other electronic media and must be accompanied by information regarding hardware, software, file names, and the date the files were created, as outlined here.
  • Hardware: Indicate the computer system (PC or Macintosh) used to create the files.
  • Software: Indicate the word-processing program and version used to create the files. Lantern Books asks that you use Microsoft Word.
  • File Management: Files should be easily identifiable by their name.

General Organization

  • Page numbering: Number all text and back-matter pages of your manuscript consecutively throughout, from the first page to the last. Do not begin each new chapter or section at page 1. Do not include art in the numbering sequence. It is important that all endnotes be placed together in one file at the end of the manuscript, not at the end of each chapter. The same goes for other back-matter, like bibliography.
  • Artwork: Submit artwork, figures, and tables separately. Do not include them on your manuscript files, even if they have been generated by your word-processing program. If artwork was created in a graphics program, provide it on a separate file with program information. Indicate where each piece of art, table, etc., goes within the text by a reference such as [Illus. 1 here]. Number art consecutively throughout the manuscript, not chapter by chapter.

File Content

  • Your documents should be typed as simply and as consistently as possible. Do not try to style any elements or to “design” your manuscript. Avoid using multiple fonts, imported graphics, all caps, and extraneous keystrokes. Do not move the text around by using the spacebar or tab key. For more detailed information regarding specific elements of manuscript preparation, we suggest you refer to The Chicago Manual of Style, or consult your editor.
  • Typeface/Font: Use the same font throughout your manuscript. Lantern Books prefers that you use 12-point Times New Roman, which produces a manuscript that is easy to read and copy-edit.
  • Margins: Use one-inch margins all around.
  • Document Spacing: One-and-a-half-space all copy, including extracts, footnotes, endnotes, bibliographic material, captions, and so on. One-and-a-half-space means a half a blank line between every typed line, not just between, say, individual notes or bibliographic entries.
  • Text alignment: All copy should be typed flush left, ragged right (never fully justified at the right-hand margin).
  • Sub-heads: Sub-heads should be in bold and the same size as the main text. The first line following the sub-head should be flush left, unless it is an extended, indented quote.
  • Extracts: Use the indenting capabilities of your program to set off extracts from the regular text by indentation from the left margin and add one line space above and below each extract. Do not use multiple spaces or tabs to indent each line of an extract. Extracts, like text, should always be ragged right.
  • Uniform line space: Do not insert extra space between paragraphs unless you are indicating a space break or extract. For a space break, use three pound signs alone on a line (###) or asterisks (***). For extracts, add one line space above and below. Use the line-wrap feature of your word-processing program rather than a manual hard or soft return at the end of a line. In other words, do not use the return/enter key at the end of individual lines within paragraphs. Manual returns should be used only at the end of paragraphs, lines of poetry set as an extract, and heads, or to create a space break.
  • Hyphenation: Do not hyphenate a word at the end of a line; use hyphens only in compound words (e.g., mother-in-law).
  • Word/Sentence Spacing: No double spaces, please; use only a single space between sentences and after colons. Many of us who were trained on typewriters were taught to use two spaces in these situations, but the electronic world requires only one.
  • Paragraph indents: Use the automatic paragraph-indent feature in your program. Never use the spacebar to create paragraph indents. In the Windows version of Microsoft Word or WordPerfect, use the Paragraph Indent command in the Format pull-down menu. In the MSDOS versions, or if your program does not have a paragraph-indent feature, use a single tab keystroke for each paragraph indent.
  • Italics: Use italics to indicate emphasis; do not use underlines or larger fonts or exclamation marks. Use bold only when absolutely necessary.
  • Numerals: All numerals from one to ninety-nines should be written out, as should a hundred, thousand, or ten thousand, unless in mathematical formulas or in a paragraph with a lot of data. In such situations, use the key 1 (one) for the figure one, and the key 0 (zero) for the figure zero. Do not use the letters l (ell) and O (oh) to indicate numerals. Fractions should be written out (e.g., three-fifths), but decimals (e.g., 1.25) and numbers like 150; 2,560; or 15,450 should be written thus.
  • Em dashes: Do not type two consecutive hyphens with no space on either side to indicate an em dash — like this. Em-dashes should not have spaces on either side of them. In other words: “The rain in Spain—it’s very heavy—stays mainly in the plain.” Em dashes should also be used for attribution: i.e. “To be or not to be. . .”—Hamlet.
  • En dashes: En-dashes should be used to indicate movement toward in pages, dates, direction, contest, or to separate compound words from each other: i.e., pp. 120–150; 1750–1820; London–Paris; Franco–Prussian war, San Francisco–based. Do not use the “ellipses” character, if you have one.
  • Special characters: Do not change the font in order to depict a certain character or symbol. Keep a log of any characters you are unable to depict with your program and submit the log with your manuscript/file.


  • There are two types of endnotes: numbered and “blind” (unnumbered). Numbered notes are numbered consecutively through each chapter (beginning with 1 for the first note in each chapter). Note numbers in the text should be superscript.
  • The numbers introducing the notes themselves in the back-matter should be typed as regular text, followed by a period: 1. “Blind” notes use a key phrase from the text to identify them. All notes should appear together at the end of the manuscript, with the chapter number/title heading each section. Begin each note on a new line.
  • In the notes, book titles should be in italics and not underlined or in bold. Poems or articles should be in quote marks; and journals should be in regular type.


  • Whichever style in which you choose to format your bibliography, ensure that you are (a) consistent, (b) accurate, and (c) professional. Do not assume that an editor will tidy up your bibliography for you.

Production Schedule & General Timeline

The table below tells you what generally happens after you submit your “final” manuscript.

 Production Schedule                                                                              General Timeline
1.Initial review by editorial that will either be approved or sent back to the author for revisionOne month after final submission
2.Copyedited by Lantern4-6 weeks depending on schedule
3.Quick review by editorial and author with any final edits1-2 weeks
4.Front/back cover and spine are created1-2 weeks
5.Final blurbs are submitted by the author then incorporated into the design1 week
6.Your manuscript is typeset2-3 weeks
7.Final quick review by editorial and authorLess than one week
8.Printing quote is obtained and printing is scheduled4-6 weeks
9.Your book is published and warehoused, preorders and author gratis copies are fulfilled7-10 days excluding international
10.During this time, social media advertising is happening, a digital review copy and any marketing collateral are created, and authors are cross-promoting with LanternThroughout the process

Please note that it takes roughly 6-8 months to publish your book once your manuscript is submitted. Schedules will shift when information and content is missing, if deadlines are missed, and if printing bottlenecks develop and/or holiday schedules impact printing. This will delay publication. Our collective goal is to publish your book on time or ahead of the scheduled publishing date. Being late impacts many things negatively and can be costly. Your editor will schedule time to review this document with you after your book contract is finalized to discuss and answer any questions.